|Plot Summary of Snow Mountain Passage|
Knopf, Apr 2001, 24.00, 317 pp.
In 1846, the families leaving Illinois for the West Coast feel ecstatic about the success of their journey even though they have heard some harrowing tales. For instance, the Reed family consisting of a father and mother and four children headed by James expects to achieve a golden life in California.
However, problems occur in Nevada as jealousy and politics surface. James is forced to leave by himself with his family staying with the remainder of the Donner Party. Soon storms batter the group in the Sierra Nevadas while James tries to find help to save his family.
SNOW MOUNTAIN PASSAGE is an intriguing novelization of the disastrous Donner Party. The story line alternates viewpoints between James's desperate efforts to rescue his beloved family and through the six-decade-old memory of one of his daughters looking back to the disaster. The characters come alive as well as readers get a deep inside look at the human condition when tragedy strikes. James D. Houston provides a harrowing tale filled with passion and anger while making his present and future flashback techniques not only work, but prove he is quite an author of historical fiction.
Harriet Klausner, Resident Scholar
|Review Analysis of Snow Mountain Passage|
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Ratings are on a 1-10 scale (Low to High)
Kind Of History
Time of history:
- 19th century
History of disaster/tragedy?
Kind of disaster:
- Very hot/cold weather
Subjects of this Historical Account
Is the portrayal sympathetic?
Intelligence of subject of
If applicable, liberal/conservative?
- Historian is very moderate
How much gore?
- 3 ()
How fast-paced is the book?
- 8 ()
Accounts of torture and death?
- generic/vague references to death/punishment
Book makes you feel...
How much focus on stories of individuals?
- Focuses mostly on history of key players
How much romance?
- 3 ()
Minor characters feature lots of:
- blue collar types
- Necessary maps provided
Length of book
- 350-400 pages
How much emphasis on small details?
- 8 ()
Click here for more information about this book
Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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